Here are some thoughts and ideas related to Albert Bandura’s social learning theory.
Bandura’s social learning theory indicates the effectiveness of human social models in influencing another to change behaviors, beliefs or attitudes, as well as social and cognitive functioning.
Through processes such as observation, vicarious experience (experience gained by observing another) and social interaction, one can acquire the behaviors or expertise mediated through a human social model.
The theory seeks to explain learning in a naturalistic setting as opposed to laboratory or contrived setting. The theory takes into account that learners can abstract a range of information from the behaviors of others and that learners can then make decisions about which behaviors to adopt and which to ignore or not adopt. Bandura notes that learners may acquire internal codes of behavior that they may or not perform later based on the observation.
Learning is defined as the acquisition of symbolic representations in the form of verbal or visual codes that serve as guidelines for future behavior. In other words, learners observe others, figure out what is working or not working and then behave in a similar situation based on those internally formed guidelines.
In social-cognitive theory, the essential components of learning are:
- Behavioral model
- Reinforcement of the model
- Learner’s cognitive processing of the modeled behaviors
The learner witnesses the behavior occurring, and witnesses the behavior being reinforced and then develops internal guidelines based on their interpretation of the correct or desired behaviors.
The assumptions that support the principles of social-cognitive theory are:
- The learners cognitive process and decision making are important factors in learning
- The three way interaction among environment, personal factors and behavior is responsible for learning
- Outcomes of learning are codes of behavior.
To teach using the model, the components of instruction would be to:
- Identify the appropriate behaviors to be held up as the model.
- Establish the functional value of the behaviors.
- Guide the learner’s internal processing to establish the behaviors within the learner.
Learning and Instruction: Theory into Practice (3rd) by Margaret E. Gredler. Here is link to updated version Learning and Instruction: Theory into Practice (6th Edition)